Teen Red Flag Signs

There are plenty of red flags parents should be looking for as they learn how to control and manage out of control teen behaviors like teen anger. Frequent emotional outbursts, excessive arguing, irritability, self harm and the harming of others are all signs that your teen’s anger is out of control. While most teen anger can be attributed to typical teenage behavior, in the most severe cases it can indicate a much bigger problem that needs to be addressed.

Teen Depression

Teens who are depressed are unable to properly process emotions, thus making them unpleasant to be around. If your teen has become uninterested in family activities, standoffish or suicidal, it’s important to get him or her the help he or she is silently and subtly crying out for.

Teen Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol takes a toll on the brain and findings are even scarier and more intense among teenagers. If your teen is using alcohol, he or she is likely unable to control anger in ways that are safe and healthy. And there may be an underlying reason why he or she has turned to alcohol, whether it be bullying, low self esteem or peer pressure.

Teen Substance Abuse

Drugs and pharmaceuticals, including marijuana or “cannabis”, methamphetamines, heroin and prescription medications, also alter levels of chemical compounds in the brain, thus hindering the growing mind of a teenager when deciphering and expressing emotions. Similar to alcohol, substance abuse among teenagers is typically the result of a bigger issue such as rejection, stress and so on.

Let’s face it. Most teens tend to be a little angry and agitated. Tough generally just a phase, out of control or abusive teen anger could very well point to bigger issues such as depression, alcohol abuse and/or substance abuse. This is why it’s crucial to get out ahead of the problem before it erupts by reaching out for counseling and treatment.

When Counseling and Treatment Does Not Work

We often hear from parents that after seeking treatment and counseling their teen’s behavior does not improve.  Some teenagers learn to “work the system” and hide the riskier behaviors, or improve temporarily and then regress.  Some parents express concerns that their teenager is angrier, often defiant, mean and gets physical punching walls and objects.  A troubled teenager can cause his or her parents much worry and unnecessary grief.  These are symptoms of a troubled teen whom could benefit from therapeutic boarding schools or a residential treatment programs.


Recognizing A Teen’s Blatant Cry for Help

  • Lower Grades/Skipping Classes: Troubled teenagers generally make lower grades than those who are happy and healthy. They usually become uninterested and unmotivated, leading them to skip school and/or fail exams.
  • Secretive or Deceptive Behavior: A troubled teenager will begin hiding things and keeping secrets from his or her parents. He or she may feel ashamed or too embarrassed to let mom and dad in.
  • Eating Disorders/Body Dysmorphia: Notice your teen’s eating habits have recently changed? He or she could be experiencing an eating disorder due to a mental health disease known as body dysmorphia, bullying or peer pressure. While most parents tend to look for signs of anorexia and bulimia, rapid weight gain can also be a sign of an eating disorder.
  • Promiscuity & Carelessness: Another indication you’re dealing with troubled teen is promiscuity and/or lewd sexual behavior. This could very well mean he or she is looking for fulfillment and desperately seeking attention.

Although the above signs and symptoms are the most prevalent, there are a number of other troubled teen indicators. The key is knowing your child and staying in the know regarding who he or she is hanging out with and how his or her grades are doing. If you are still at your wit’s end and feeling helpless, a therapeutic boarding school or residential treatment program might be the best solution.

Please explore our website or call an admissions counselor at 866.694.8882 for additional information about how Wood Creek Academy can help your family.